Thursday, September 4, 2008
Behind The Scoreboard
For a short while there just before the Olympics, here is one soul who thought football kickoff weekend would never materialize. If you have pigskin in your hide, then you know that after hearing and reading as coaches extol the expectant virtues of their specific programs, you can become quite antsy about the time frame. Of course, none of the foregoing hinders the discussion of the most favored sport.
Weeks before the pre-season rankings were released, football was being discussed with Robert Hubbard, the manager of the Fred’s store on Van Dorn. Robert was very adamant in his collegiate prediction that the Georgia Bulldogs would open the season with the number one rating. I doubted this very seriously, subconsciously thinking that the accolade would go to either Ohio State or Florida and at the very least, LSU. So when the standings were released, Ohio was second, Florida was five and LSU was number seven. All playing second fiddle to the Dawgs. Hubbard also had a prediction for the NFL. “A Manning will win the Super Bowl”. He would refine that later to suggest that it would be the “older” Manning and the Colts who would do it.
Hey, we had better keep our eye on this guy. We just may have a budding football guru in our midst.
I hate to bring this up, strike that, I love to bring this up. With the exception of the Buckeyes, the SEC practically owns the high positions in the early picks. This comes as no surprise to us SEC watchers who have always maintained that the Southeastern Conference was the best in the land. And now with the super sweet two plus billions deal they have concluded with ESPN, the fireworks are really going to pop.
Weekend one saw a lot of the C-USA teams beating up on each other, but some of those stepping outside the conference sent shock waves all over the land. The East Carolina Pirates stunned football land with their upset of the darling of the ACC Coastal Conference, the Virginia Tech Hokies. The Hokies’ coaching staff admitted their “flatfooted” shock after letting the Pirates come back and score the final fifteen points.
The other C-USA team playing outside its comfort zone didn’t fare so well – for the fourth consecutive year. Memphis had set the Rebels on their heels in ’03 and ’04. Ole Miss has come out on top since. And this season Oxford had a new coach to get used to.
The Houston Nutt era successfully began with a 41-24 win over the Tigers. One has to appreciate the fact we have such a great developing rivalry in our very backyard. Mark these words, and it has been said before, these contests are going to continue to grow until someone in the hierarchy of such things poses the obvious question: “Why aren’t those Memphis Tigers in the SEC?”
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